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directed by Irving Pichel
USA 1941


In this highly fictionalized early history of Canada, trapper/explorer Radisson imagines an empire around Hudson's Bay. He befriends the Indians, fights the French, and convinces King Charles II to sponsor an expedition of conquest.


This sweeping drama chronicles the foundation a Canadian institution: the Hudson's Bay Trading Company. Set in the 17th century when the fur trade was at its peak the story centers on Radisson, a far-sighted entrepreneurial fur trapper, and his sidekick who dream of establishing a major trading post on the title bay. Opportunity arises when they encounter an exiled British aristocrat and begin teaching him frontier ways. He in turn has them travel to England with him. There the determined Radisson, must first convince King Charles that the proposed post would be a lucrative venture. The king eventually agrees to fund the first post and Radisson, his partner and the aristocrat return to the Canadian frontier. The company gets off to a good start until the aristocrat's brother-in-law gets drunk and kills a native thereby nearly starting a war that Radisson averts by having the drunken killer killed. The nobleman is outraged and as soon as the three return to England to give a report to the King, he has the two trappers placed in prison. Fortunately, Radisson is able to appeal to the King's greed by telling him that the heretofore successful trading post will collapse without the two of them and they return to Canada to found a business empire that is still going strong today.

Excerpt of review from MRQE located HERE


Theatrical Release: January 3rd, 1941

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DVD Review: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation (Cinema Archives) - Region 0 - NTSC

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Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:34:33

1.33:1 pan and scan Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.72 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Aspect Ratio:
Original - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• None

DVD Release Date: July 17th, 2010
Keep Case

Chapters 10



Hudson's Bay isn't a bad little adventure. The goofy historical aspects can be a bit amusing but we get decent performances.  It could have been more gripping but I was still mildly entertained.

This is a DVD-R under Fox's 'Cinema Archives' series.  It's standard single-layered ion the original 1.33:1 aspect ratio and progressively transferred. It is quite dark with rich black levels. The image is imperfect but is reasonably consistent and supplies a watchable SD presentation.

The mono sound is occasionally weak but dialogue is audible and there are no subtitles offered. There are no supplements not even a trailer.

TI wouldn't give this a rousing recommendation but Tierney completists may be pleased although she isn't in the film extensively. Those keen on the era may be the most suitable to indulge.  

  - Gary Tooze



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Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Region 0 - NTSC


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